At first glance the most striking thing about Damien Flood’s recent paintings (and the theme that connects them,) is a feeling of other-worldliness. Much of the imagery has something of the sci-fi about it; bleak unpopulated environments (land, space and sky); unclear and often ominous. They are depictions of curious places that don’t throw up conclusive answers.
On one level Flood is exercising one of painting’s great facilities; he is creating alternate worlds, painting the mythic and mystical. While this is undoubtedly part of the reason his paintings are so compelling anyone who has read any of my previous musings on painting will know that this is not chiefly where my interests lie.
Of primary interest to me is the economy of Flood’s methods in relation to the end result. What he manages to achieve with his approach. The use of paint is skilful and succinct and the success of the work is a result of this. Unfussy brushstrokes are not simply servants of the subject, they are of equal (if not greater) importance to the scene they represent. Painting itself is being explored.
The indeterminate settings are a contributing layer, but it is the fashion with which they are rendered and the physical end result which resonates principally.